Spoiling, or denial of benefits from criminal activity, involves making the targets of theft valueless to thieves, robbers and denying others such as fences or end-buyers of stolen property to deny any profit from stealing.
The designers Adam Thorpe and Joe Hunter at Vexed Design (and London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design) and Jens Martin Skibsted of Biomega put their creative minds together to outwit the most savvy of folding bike thieves.
The ‘Puma bike’ Anti-Theft Folding Bike (2004) is one example of how designers are attempting to reduce bike theft.
The Down Tube is replaced with a steel cable that locks into a housing mounted at the junction of the top tube and head tube. This wire is a structural part of the frame stopping the bike from ‘splaying’ apart when weight is applied from above in use. To securely park the bike the top tube is released to fold the frame so that the front wheel sits alongside the back wheel. The cable is then released and can tether both wheels and the frame to parking furniture before locking back into the frame.
If the cable is cut to remove the bike then the remainder of the bike’s frame is incomplete and structurally unsound, significantly reducing its re-sale or re-use value.
An additional benefit is the reduced number of conventional locks that the cyclist may have to carry.